NEW YORK – SAG-AFTRA mourns the passing of Dan Ingram, a celebrated New York disc jockey and dedicated unionist who received the union’s prestigious gold card award. Ingram died June 24 at the age of 83.
“It is with great sadness that we bid farewell to Dan,” said SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris. “Dan will be sorely missed for his sharp wit and intellect. He was a brilliant man whose talent, commitment to his work and to the merging of our unions was inspiring. He had an incredible career that spanned over five decades. Our hearts go out to his wife and our colleague Maureen Donnelly and their family.”
“Dan Ingram was deeply admired by his colleagues in New York and across the country. He was the best at what he did,” said SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President and New York Local President Rebecca Damon. “He inspired a generation of broadcasters and his union work was on behalf of all on-air people. He was an A-list broadcaster who showed up for his union colleagues. New York is quieter this morning. Dan will be deeply missed.”
Ingram entertained generations of New Yorkers and his often-emulated style inspired many future radio personalities. His five-decade career began at stations WHCH, WNRC and WALK-FM and soon drew multitudes of listeners with his clever wordplay and altered versions of popular songs. Greatly respected in his field, Ingram was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.
Ingram became a union member in 1956. An early supporter of merger, he served on numerous committees and on the national and local boards of both Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. His union service spanned from the 1980s through the 2000s, including service as first vice president of the AFTRA New York Local and as a national vice president for SAG. His commitment to his fellow members earned him — and his wife Maureen Donnelly — the George Heller Memorial Award gold card in 2005. In a September 2007 interview with All Access Music Group, Ingram expressed the satisfaction his union service gave him.
“When I'm walking home from a meeting at night and I've done some work that I know is going to help 10,000 people, there's no amount of money that can buy that good feeling. It's so rewarding, wonderful,” he said.
The legendary Top-40 DJ began his broadcasting career in the 1950s at small stations throughout New York and Connecticut, before moving on to Dallas and St. Louis. In 1961, he returned to New York to debut his show on WABC, which led the station's surge to the top of the city’s ratings, where it remained for the better part of two decades. Ingram later worked at WXRK, before wrapping up his career in 2003 after more than a decade at WCBS-FM. He was considered a radio pioneer and “talk-up” savant who perfectly timed his speaking during a song introduction before the lyrics began.
Ingram received numerous accolades throughout his storied career, including the Joseph C. Reilly award from the SAG New York Branch, the National President’s Award from AFTRA and the Kenneth Harvey Award from the AFTRA New York Local. He was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2007.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.